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The Perfect Landing: 3 Essential Tips

If you do Parkour you will need to learn how to land properly. As you gain more experience, you will try to climb and jump off higher and farther objects, and proper landings will become the most important techniques to have mastered.

Learning proper form for a basic landing is essential for beginners and experienced traceurs alike. You will use basic landing technique in almost every movement you do. But, it is particularly important to understand these principles when landing from heights. You can get away with poor landing technique from a short distance, but not from a high one. Bad technique from a high distance can leave you with nagging aches and pains.

If you have directional motion (sideways, forwards, backwards) then use a roll to dissipate the fall energy.  The roll is an amazing method to land safely.  This article breaks down the landing technique to land from heights without the ability to roll. Master this sooner rather than later and you’ll walk away like a thug.     
Parkour Thug Life

Parkour Thug Life ft. APEX Movement Pro Team member Dylan BakerWhile filming a commercial for VIVOBAREFOOT, Dylan takes a massive drop but executes a perfect recovery and landing. â–º Follow Dylan Baker: https://www.facebook.com/DylanBakerParkourâ–º Follow the APEX Pro Team: https://www.facebook.com/apexmovement

Posted by APEX Movement on Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Basics

The first thing to remember is to keep your body aligned. You need the impact of your landing to move through your body with efficiency. This will allow you to continue your next movement with ease.

This is simple enough to do. Make sure your feet are pointing straight to start. Don't let them nudge inward or outward if you can. Rotating your feet also rotates your knees and legs, making it hard to absorb impact. A great way to check your body alignment is by squatting. You might already do this for strength training – if so, great! If you don't strength train, you should get comfortable with how to squat properly.

Squats are perfect for landing technique. When you squat, all of your weight is going in a straight line through your body. If your body is not aligned properly, you will notice it right away. If you already have good squatting technique, you've won half the battle.  

The Movements

Proper landing technique is simple. There are only 3 key points to remember.

1. Heels Up

One of the worst mistakes you can make is landing on your heels. If you are going to land in an efficient way, you need to think of your body like a spring, using all of your joints together.

When you land on the heels of your feet you put too much pressure on your knees and ankles.

Landing on the balls of your feet will allow your body to "collapse" like a spring. You will distribute your weight in a way that is easy to absorb.

2. Move Your Hips

Many amateurs fail to move their hips when landing. Instead, they try to absorb the impact with their knees. Their knees will go too far forward, and their hips go with them. This puts a lot of pressure on your knees and lower back.

To avoid this, you want to sink your hips down – like a squat. Your knees should not go past your toes. Again, this brings us back to squatting technique. Good squatting technique is the foundation for a good landing.

Don’t push the hips forward, rather have them come down and back instead.


3. Keep Your Back Straight.

Don’t hunch over or arch your back while landing. A lot of newcomers hunch over when they land so they can use their hands. This is a mistake. You want your back to be as straight as possible. This helps to preserve spine integrity throughout the landing.

Remember, we want to allow the energy to move through your body with ease. Bending forward, or arching backwards, stops this from happening. Again, this brings us back to squatting. Notice this image, and how the athlete’s back is straight all the way down.


Advanced Knowledge

After you have mastered these basics, it's time to learn the "slap" landing. This is a technique used to help you continue your movement after hitting the ground.  This is controversial.  We would like to see you dissipate the energy with a roll.  But sometimes a roll is overkill for a low height drop, or not possible/practical in certain situations.

Accomplishing this is easy. You simply need to bend forward slightly during your landing. Everything else stays the same. Your back should still be straight. Your knees should be behind the toes. Your hips should still move backwards. Just lean a little bit forward, and extend your arms to the ground.

Here is a GIF from the Tapp Brothers showing the proper technique:


Put Knowledge Into Practice

Learning to land correctly is one of the most important skills you can master, yet it is still something that a lot of young traceurs overlook.

Since this is a fundamental technique, it should be practiced several times each week. It won’t be long before you feel you have mastered it. Don’t be fooled by your success. You need to practice this hundreds of times, and never stop practicing it. This is not just about understanding technique, it is about conditioning your mind.

Several times a week. No questions asked. And watch your game elevate.


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